If push comes to shove and I am backed in a corner, I will push back—and get nasty. Very nasty.
Take three weeks ago when it was intolerably and unbearably hot in my apartment. I felt like I was suffocating. My apartment has always been on the warmer and even hotter side. Cracking windows open had always worked in the past, but not this time. It did not help that there were gaping holes in the window screens. I had told myself time and time again that I would get the window screens repaired when the weather was nicer. Now I no longer just thought of only me. I had to think of my kitty cat Ricky. I was afraid Ricky would scratch through the already damaged window screens and go into ‘escape artist’ mode. I ended up opening the windows just a tiny smidge. I thought it was just me feeling like I was on fire, but then Ricky started throwing up and I was just about ready to pass out. I put in a call to my upstairs neighbor who came down to check if I had handles to self-regulate the temperature. She wanted to leave my apartment as soon as she stepped in, saying: “It is really damn hot in your apartment. This is abnormal for a basement apartment. You do not have the self-regulating handles. You better call the management emergency line.”
I had already called four times. By the fifth time, I was practically shouting and seething over the phone nastily, “It is as hot as an oven in here! This is unacceptable! I have health issues. My cat is throwing up. I am going to get the board president involved and take legal action if needed. If anything happens to us, I am holding you accountable.”
Finally over two hours later, the maintenance guy who I absolutely loathe because he is obnoxious, rude, and has a history of being very rough with repairs in my apartment came barging in like a rabid, crazed beast enraged at me, “Why don’t you have the windows opened?”
He began opening all the windows without my permission. I said to him icily, “Please do not do that. Close the windows. NOW.”
Ricky was always the social and curious cat who loved being the center of attention, but he ran away and hid as soon as the maintenance guy came storming in. Ricky peeked out when he heard my icy voice; His green eyes were bewildered and frightened. When I am furious, one of two things will happen: I start whining/complaining OR I get extremely quiet and cold. The latter is the scariest. If looks and my voice could kill, the maintenance guy would have dropped dead on the spot. The maintenance guy immediately closed the windows. My management department and the maintenance guy all questioned and then demanded, “Why don’t you put on the air conditioner? Why don’t you open the windows wider?”
I snapped at all of them: “Do not give me a temporary fix. Find out what the problem is with the temperature system and solve it. Do not give me a band-aid.”
The maintenance guy ended up cracking through my kitchen and bedroom radiator covers with his bare hands balled into fists to turn the temperature valves off fully. Within two weeks and in two sessions (one of which was an absolute disaster) to try to install handles so I can self-regulate the temperatures, I learned about boiler and temperature systems and valves, radiator covers, my management company, the board and its members, the life of plumbers and technicians who are always on call and on the road, and those extremely select few gems who are patient and efficient enough to examine the situation and problem at hand to figure out and find the long-term options and solutions. I have learned all this stuff and more as I go and grow up living on my own, without anyone helping really being able to ‘rescue’ me. I laughed as a response to one of my friends asked me, “Why don’t you get your father to just help you?” Because, that’s not how life and this world works where you can ALWAYS depend and turn to others for help in ‘push comes to shove’ situations that require solutions that you have to figure out all alone. Many, if not all, battles are fought alone. We are lucky if we have a supporting cast there by our side, but, in essence, we are the ones who must endure on our own where we are not in a place to ‘band-aid’ anything up.
These are the times we are living in now. We do not actually try to find out what the root of the problem is. We want an easy and quick way, because the longer way for the actual long-term is a painful and pesky process. We try to cover and mask things up. We are impatient, rushed, and hurried. We band-aid everything up without letting the wound air out to find out what the root of the problem is for a long-term, efficient, and effective solution. How are you with emergencies? Do you feel like you have people or a person to turn to that can help in the case of an emergency? Or that you have to fend for yourself? When have you put a band-aid on rather than let everything air out for a REAL solution?
Keep smilin’ until we meet again,